A FATHER and son had a lucky escape when a fire ripped through their kitchen, completely destroying it.
The blaze began at 5pm yesterday at the second-floor flat in Chidham Court, off Chidham Walk, Havant – and is thought to have been sparked by a faulty fridge.
The fire was fully developed – they had a very lucky escapeFirefighter Glenn Kavanagh
As the pair – aged 28 and 56 – tried to battle the flames the smoke spread to a neighbouring home.
They managed to escape but the younger man collapsed on the ground outside the flat and had to be treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation and shock.
His father was also given oxygen but both refused to be taken to hospital.
The neighbour opposite had opened his front door to see what was going on and smoke poured into his home.
He had to be led to safety by firefighters.
Crews from Havant, Cosham and Emsworth spent an hour putting the blaze out.
Havant crew manager Glenn Kavanagh said the front window had blown out by the time they arrived and the occupants had managed to get out.
He said: ‘The fire was fully developed – they had a very lucky escape.
‘They were definitely in the flat for a period of time while it was under way. We could tell because they had marks on their faces and were covered in soot.
‘They were perhaps trying to tackle it but our job was to get first aid to them as quickly as possible.’
Mr Kavanagh said the man living opposite, who is in his early 60s, had to be led to safety after his flat was engulfed by smoke when he opened his front door.
He added: ‘The kitchen was completely destroyed and the living room adjacent to it was 50 per cent destroyed.
‘The fire was contained to the flat.
‘The fire investigation is in progress but the early indication is it looks like it has been started by a faulty fridge.’
Neighbour Daniel Lydford watched the drama unfold.
The 44-year-old said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it before.
‘I was vacuuming in the front room and when I looked out the window I saw smoke billowing out from across the road towards our house.
‘It looked like a lot of people had been evacuated.
‘The smoke was incredible.
‘There were ambulances and paramedics and a man was being treated on the ground. He was being treated for quite some time. It looked serious.’
Police cordoned off the road while firefighters tackled the blaze. It was reopened just after 6.30pm.